Renowned Public Health Advisor Jim O’Neill Joins Board of Directors of ADvantage TherapeuticsAppointment announced today at inaugural Entrepreneurship, Longevity and Biotech Conference Held in Boca Raton
BOCA RATON, Fla. and VIENNA, Austria, March 24, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- ADvantage Therapeutics, Inc. (“ADvantage” or “the Company”), which is developing therapies to treat neurodegenerative conditions with a central focus on Alzheimer’s disease, today announced the election of James O’Neill — a recognized leader in health, aging, and longevity — to its Board of Directors. ADvantage CEO Jeffrey Madden also provided updates on the development of the Company’s lead compound, AD04™ in Alzheimer’s Disease and introduced an advancement in the protein klotho designed to benefit longevity.
“The addition of Jim to our Board of Directors signals the next level of development for our company,” said Jeffrey Madden, chief executive officer. “As we embark upon our confirmatory Phase 2b study for AD04™ in early Alzheimer’s disease, we are fortunate to have Jim’s talents and experience to guide us during this exciting time.”
“In addition, Jim’s deep expertise in longevity will serve us well as we develop our mRNA technology to fight pathologies of aging by advancing and sustaining the capabilities of klotho, which many consider the longevity gene. We are developing platform technology to create a pipeline of [targets] to tackle the most common diseases of aging by using the klotho protein. We look forward to Jim’s guidance in this area,” concluded Mr. Madden.
Mr. O’Neill began his career in public policy and helped lead the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as the principal associate deputy secretary. He oversaw policy and regulations for NIH, FDA, and CDC. He helped structure the department’s $700 billion budget, oversaw two sweeping reforms of FDA, and led many other projects, especially in security, intelligence, preparedness, and health diplomacy.
Since leaving government, Mr. O’Neill has advised or invested in more than sixty science and technology companies. While leading the Thiel Foundation, he co-founded the Thiel Fellowship. He also served as a managing director at Clarium/Thiel Macro, a global macro investment fund.
As CEO and board member of SENS Research Foundation (SRF), Mr. O’Neill oversaw strategy and operations for a team of scientists who research, develop, and promote comprehensive regenerative medicine solutions for the diseases of aging. SRF supports research focused on a damage repair paradigm at labs across America and Europe.
As global health advisor to Rational Vaccines, Jim advances the company’s mission to relieve suffering from all diseases resulting from herpes simplex virus 1 and herpes simplex virus 2 infections.
In addition, Mr. O’Neill supported the creation of the Armed Forces Institute for Regenerative Medicine, served on the steering committee of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, and served on the United States delegation to the World Health Assembly. O’Neill also served on the President’s Management Council, the Task Force on New Americans, and the Suitability and Security Clearance Performance Accountability Council, as well as frequently representing the Department on the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council, the Domestic Policy Council, and the Council for Environmental Quality.
An advocate for global human rights, he has spoken at the Oslo Freedom Forum, the Human Rights Foundation’s annual gathering of dissidents, advocates, journalists, tech entrepreneurs, and artists.
Mr. O’Neill lives in Marin County, California. He holds a B.A from Yale University and an A.M. from the University of Chicago.
“Following tens of billions of dollars the industry devoted to the amyloid hypothesis, ADvantage Therapeutics’ approach to Alzheimer’s disease is fresh and extremely promising,” said O’Neill. “AD04 has the potential to radically improve the lives of millions. I am excited to collaborate with ADvantage to help propel it forward.”
Mr. Madden made the announcement at the invite-only Entrepreneurship, Longevity, and Biotech Conference, which assembled biotech and longevity scientists and entrepreneurs in Boca Raton to share research and exchange ideas for improving the biotech and longevity industries.
The conference features speeches by Moderna co-founder Robert Langer; former HHS Deputy Secretary Eric Hargan; Cambrian Bio CEO James Peyer; Kernel, Blueprint, and Braintree founder Bryan Johnson; and other biotech visionaries.
ADvantage Therapeutics is developing AD04™ as a novel immunotherapy for early Alzheimer’s disease. The compound has been used as an adjuvant in human and animal vaccination programs. In a previous trial, AD04™ serving as a control arm against another compound appeared to demonstrate statistically significantly slower decline over other treatment groups in cognitive and quality life clinical measures. AD04™ also showed slower decline in hippocampal volume as a biomarker.
The Company believes that rather than being limited to a specific aspect of AD pathology, such as amyloid beta or tau, the use of AD04™ may address the immunological mechanisms in the brain and peripheral immune system. The Company believes AD04™ may act as an immunomodulator, stimulating and/or regulating the immune system to reduce AD pathology.
About Alzheimer’s disease
About 44 million people worldwide suffer from Alzheimer’s disease, and it is the sixth leading cause of death in industrialized countries. In 2019, the World Health Organization estimated the total worldwide cost of dementia at $1.3 trillion. While the FDA provisionally approved an anti-amyloid beta antibody, aducanumab, in 2021, widespread coverage has not been granted, nor have European countries approved the product. The socio-economic burden of Alzheimer’s disease is enormous. AD devastates the lives of patients and their families. They lose their memories and independence, and the loss of a loved relation leaves behind guilt, grief, and anger. Alzheimer’s disease is a high unmet medical need as there are currently no disease-modifying drugs approved worldwide. The availability of a safe, effective, affordable drug would transform the life of an AD patient from accepting a debilitating disease to the retention of personality, independence, and dignity.
About ADvantage Therapeutics
Headquartered in Miami, ADvantage Therapeutics is developing therapies to treat neurodegenerative conditions with a central focus on Alzheimer’s disease. The Company’s lead compound AD04™ is an injectable therapy in the process of entering into a confirmatory Phase 2b clinical trials in Europe to evaluate safety and efficacy of the product in early Alzheimer’s disease. The Company believes that Alhydrogel may act as an immunomodulator, stimulating and regulating the immune system to reduce AD pathology, rather than limiting therapy to the aggregation of the proteins present once pathology is present. The Company is also exploring additional approaches to mitigating neurodegenerative disease, which it believes will eventually have an overall impact on longevity.
About ADvantage Therapeutics GmbH
ADvantage Therapeutics GmbH founded in 2021 is the Vienna BioCenter-based subsidiary of ADvantage Therapeutics, Inc., where the Company conducts early research and drug development. ADvantage is developing therapies to treat neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and is currently preparing for clinical trials in Europe and in the U.S.
Safe Harbor-Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain forward-looking statements, including statements of potential mode of action, potential clinical effect, potential safety, and Advantage’s potential clinical development program and pipeline program. ADvantage is in the early stages of developing and testing its AD04™ compound and may not receive regulatory approval to conduct the contemplated Phase 2b trial. The described clinical effect of our lead compound AD04™ is primarily based on results of a Phase 2 study designed to test a different compound. The described results need to be reproduced for proof of concept, might not be representative of larger scale clinical trials, and do not guarantee future regulatory approval or clinical success. Any preclinical results presented here are interim. The mechanism of action of AD04™ as potentially determined in our future investigations, particularly in future clinical trials with patients with Alzheimer’s disease, might differ compared to the one presented.
For ADvantage Therapeutics
195 NW 40th Street
Miami, FL 33127
Jeffrey Madden CEO
David Buchsbaum CFO
JQA Partners, Inc.